Starting Strength Weekly Report

October 12, 2020

New World Edition

On Starting Strength

From the Coaches
  • A common problem in the deadlift is a misunderstanding of what finishing the lift should look and feel like. Phil Meggers talks about how to identify and solve this problem.
  • Have you been supplementing with magnesium carbonate? If not, you should be. Phil Meggers discusses the importance of magnesium carbonate and its impact on your training. Here's a tip - don't ingest it.
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In the Trenches

clara sets up a deadlift at wichita falls athletic club
Clara sets up for a deadlift at Wichita Falls Athletic Club. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
family training at starting strength dallas
Couples that train together remain together. Clark and Linda Peterson pose for a post workout photo at Starting Strength Dallas. [photo courtesy of Brent Carter]

Best of the Week

Grams of protein per meal

Ideally, I know it would be better to divide up my calories over many smaller meals throughout the day. However, I’m an adult and cannot eat exactly 31g of protein precisely every 2.5 hours.

I am very busy and work manual labor. I eat a small meal when I wake up, something small at lunch, then after the day has settled I eat a very big dinner. Eating big meals during the day makes me sluggish, and I do not really have other opportunities to eat. My concern is protein absorption. Instinctively, it seems like bullshit that anymore than X amount of protein consumed at one time is just wasted. The food is still in your stomach isn’t it?

Just wanted the opinion of a sane human being on whether consuming most of my protein at one meal is a problem.

Mark Rippetoe

“Ideally, I know it would be better to divide up my calories over many smaller meals throughout the day.”

How do you "know" this?


I get all the protein I need from two meals. Breakfast is one small carton of egg whites (plus one real egg), 12oz potatoes, hot sauce, and 24oz fairlife fat free milk. My next meal is usually around 2pm and it's a half-cup (dry) of white rice, a healthy portion of any meat of my choice (usually 13oz of chicken breast these days), a salad, and 24oz fairlife milk. Those two meals get me ~ 220 grams protein. Sometimes I also eat a Qwest protein bar which pushes me above and beyond. Works for me.

Mark Rippetoe

Such an exciting diet.


I recently went from ~230gs per day to ~350. Got stronger and lost body fat at the same time - I haven’t had that happen since I was a teenager.

Most of my meals are in the evening after work. I must shovel down ~ 280gs within a 4-5 hour window. The whole “you can only absorb X gs of protein per meal” seems like a crock of shit to me, or at least varies on an individual basis.


Out of interest, is this literally every day? How do you keep to such specific and bland food? (I'm not criticising just interested)


Somewhere in the world there's a massive excess of yolks.


Perhaps you’ve stumbled onto the explanation of dark matter.


Yea, I basically always eat at least those two main meals every day, it ensures that I hit my protein goal every day and it keeps me full. I'm not sure what else I'm supposed to be craving, I eat rice/potatoes for my carb sources and I eat eggs/chicken/beef/steak/salmon/milk for my main protein sources. Am I supposed to eat ice cream and cake every day or something? I'm not 12, my diet doesn't have to excite me, it just needs to be enjoyable and effective. But of course I'm human and not trying to be some 10% body fat bodybuilder so I eat the occasional package of m&m's or splurge on some cheese and crackers and I enjoy alcohol in moderation. I'm able to stick to this diet, everyone needs to find one they can stick to that fits their own palate. I don't know how anyone sticks to the diet suggestions in the Barbell Prescription with the cringe 2-3 protein shakes per day stuff that used to be in the bodybuilder mags. To each their own.

Best of the Forum

Increasing bow draw weight

I'm unsure which way to approach this question. I currently shoot a 55 lb recurve but am not as steady as I would like. More strength would help clearly. I've read a bit about certain exercises to theoretically increase and target those muscles needed to draw better but frankly they all have the same flavor of isolation exercises that just don't work - Dumbell row and raises and face pulls.

What I know would work is if I could use a bow to progressively overload weight wise but alas those don't exist that I can find.

The only other thing I can come up with is using time as the overload component, although I can't say I like it. Basically, you need 5 seconds for a reasonable shot at most. In your experience would multiple sets of increasingly longer static holds with the same weight do anything useful to allow my draw weight to go up?

Basically I'm look for a way to progressively train this with a goal of a 70-80 lb bow (well, 100 would be great)

I totally get stronger by moving more weight. In this case I literally can't figure out how to do that without multiple bows which isn't feasible financially.

Mark Rippetoe

What are your lifts now? Barbell rows might be a good approach to this.

Will Morris

This would be a fantastic question for Andrew Spangler to answer. Let me see if I can get him to come on and talk about this.

Alexander Dargatz

I'm not a dedicated archer, but I like to shoot a few arrows from time to time. I have a self made wooden longbow with a draw weight of 70 lbs.

The pull itself shouldn't be a problem if you deadlift 400+lbs, it's the holding steady part which is tricky. While I think rows won't hurt, the basic lifts are most important. For shooting, you need tightness in your body - especially in your upper body and upper back - to hold it against the external force of the drawn bow, so I'd say get your squat, deadlift, press and bench up, which all teach tightness in the (upper) body against an external force.

Jared Nessland

The Two-Factor Model of Sports Performance - It applies here too. Getting close to approaching the same scenario that gets strength coaches ripped on this board on a regular basis. Do the program, add some chins or rows sooner than you maybe would otherwise. And shoot your bow.


And along the same lines, overhead squats and snatch or jerk supports. There's a large amount of lat, delt and upper back work in controlling heavy weights overhead.

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